Corbyn’s right to ‘take on the billionaires’. And we all have the power to make that happen.

Jeremy Corbyn
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Jeremy Corbyn is making it crystal clear that he’s on the side of ordinary working people – not the tiny billionaire class that backs the Tories. And his pledge to “take on the billionaires” is exactly what the UK – and the world – needs.

They need us. We don’t need them. That’s a power we need to unleash.

Billionaires need us, but we don’t need them. Because what would billionaires be or have without workers? We create and buy the goods they sell us. Without us, they’d have nothing. That’s something we desperately need to emphasise right now. The super-rich may try to convince us that they’re the ‘wealth creators’. But that’s clearly bull. Because if we all stopped working and buying, economies and ‘wealth creation’ would grind to a halt.

It’s precisely because ordinary working people are the true powerhouses of all economies that we deserve wellbeing. We work hard, and we deserve good health, education, housing, and leisure in return. We fully deserve both dignity and happiness. And so do the people who, through no fault of their own, are unable to work.

In our current political system, however, the super-rich don’t (and won’t) ensure our wellbeing voluntarily. They like us to just beg for scraps, and to fear their power to destroy our economies if we demand more. And that’s exactly why we – with and without our existing government structures – must demand our wellbeing and cement it into law. This means full, proper compensation for our work. It means quality public services. And it means fair, appropriate taxation.

We are vastly greater in number than the super-rich. And that’s a power we must unleash.

‘Billionaires should not exist’

In the US, Bernie Sanders has stressed that “billionaires should not exist”. And even billionaire presidential hopeful Tom Steyer seems to agree, calling vast income inequality “absolutely wrong… absolutely undemocratic and unfair”. Over in the UK, meanwhile, Corbyn has suggested that people should be free to make money, but also that:

If they do become incredibly rich, then I invite them to be happy with their wealth but also to share it a bit by paying their taxes as appropriately so that our public services are there for them – just as much as they’re there for everybody else – so that we don’t have this horribly divided society.

Read on...

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It’s not extreme to demand greater equality, either. It’s just logical. As Oxford professor Danny Dorling previously told The Canary, countries with greater economic equality do “better in almost all spheres of life”. The increasing inequality in recent decades – and the simultaneously increasing power of the super-wealthy – has been utterly disastrous for ordinary people. And as Oxfam’s Max Lawson has insisted, “corruption and crony connections to governments are behind a significant proportion of billionaire wealth”. The very existence of billionaires, he said, is “a sign of economic failure” and ‘undermines democracy’.

Studies have also suggested that most unequal countries have a greater impact on the global climate crisis. And as Rasika Sittamparam and University of the West of England lecturer Karen Bell recently pointed out in The Canary, the richest countries also play a much bigger role than the poorest in climate breakdown.

Corbyn’s Labour vs the corrupt elitist system

Labour’s Lloyd Russell-Moyle recently raised an important electoral question on the BBC:

Are you on the side of the tax dodgers or of the billionaires, or are you on the side of normal working people?

And in a follow-up article, he described how:

the 310,000, mostly white middle-aged men from London, who make up that top 1% of UK earners, take home 14% of the national income. …

Roughly a quarter of national wealth is controlled by the country’s top 1% of rich people, a proportion that has risen inexorably under the policies started by Margaret Thatcher, and continued through the years of New Labour and recent Tory governments. …

these figures do not even account for the billions that are squirrelled away offshore by the super-rich.

The richest 26 people in the world, meanwhile, reportedly own the same amount as the poorest half of the planet’s population.

But as Russell-Moyle stressed:

Labour is no longer intensely relaxed about people becoming filthy rich because we now know that inequality costs us all economically.

We need change. And we have the power to get it.

Britain’s billionaire class is already doing its best to try and stop voters from electing a Corbyn-led government to power. That’s because such a government would shift power away from the super-rich and towards ordinary working people, who deserve so much better. And that’s exactly why we need to use our power to put Corbyn in Downing Street this coming election.

Featured image via This Morning

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  • Show Comments
    1. This is one of, if not the best article I have read to date about the reality of the super-rich claims about ‘trickle-down’ economics, ‘captains of industry’, and Billionaires being used as an example of how well a country is doing.

      I have friends who are still convinced that the UK is in fine condition because we have more Billionaires than before, and the sickening thing about that is that they (my friends) are not exactly well-off themselves, but struggling like so many others.

      I am glad that this article has brought to light the lies of the elites and super-rich, because sadly, too many people still think that having loads of millionaires or billionaires is a sign of prosperity, when that situation should be screaming the obvious to the blind, which is to say that being happy with the scraps falling of your master’s table is the narrative of slave-mentalists, and that history is abundantly full of the sufferings of those scrap-lovers, who rarely, if ever, benefit to the same extent (or anywhere near) the level of their greedy masters.

      Jeremy Corbyn is right on this, it is not a bad thing to be wealthy, or to pursue a level of income which provides well for our selves, family and friends, but if one is doing so well out of society, it is precisely because that society has the mechanisms for it, so the rich should be moved (out of gratitude and care for others) to give back to the society and peoples who have made that possible, so that that society may thrive, and continue to provide benefits to its people.

      The idea that for people to be happy with their lot requires that we will always have ‘the poor’ and suffering with us, is a misnomer, and elitist propaganda going back thousands of years. It is however true to say that WHILST there are such huge income and wealth disparities, the poor and the suffering WILL always be with us.

      Capitalism does NOT require ‘The Poor’ in order to work, it only requires that in order for the elites to maintain control, and ‘The Poor’ are not an inescapable side-effect of Capitalism either, but a side-effect of hateful, corrupted humans. Therefore, all attempts to claim that we need the rich and powerful, or that someone is a ‘born leader’ or ‘born to rule’ are elite lies. People who put money before humanity are the true monsters of the World and the World’s history. That said, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t and haven’t been super-rich who genuinely care and contribute fairly to the societies that made them possible, but they are a rarity too often confused with the plethora of uncaring rich and powerful.

    2. We could find out within a fortnight if a country needs its rich and can manage without its working class, or if it needs its working class and can do without its rich. Let the rich all take a week off together and watch the country tick over just fine. Then let the working class all take the week off together and watch the country grind to a halt by the end of the first day.

      1. LOL 🙂

        Now THAT I would love to see. You are so right, the country would indeed grind to a halt by the end of the first day if we all took a week off.

        Ahhh, if only there was a way to get the vast majority onboard with that. Maybe, then, the elite would finally get the message that it is WE who hold the true power, theirs is an illusion which we allow them to have.

    3. The Rich are the receivers of the greatest benefit Benefit System ‘Tax Dodging’ Partly legal, mostly shady! I don’t even care if they pay exactly the same % of taxes as everyone else, their 20% is going to be a shitload mare than ours! BUT! One system for all! No matter how much you are worth or how influential you are, you pay your income tax and you pay your business tax! No more Money Laundering via the Now NeoLiberal Occupied Charities, No more claiming for a car, a fleet of cars, a flat, a much needed rest in the ‘Bahamas’ or a whatever else! Capital and tax on the capital should remain 2 separate things, as it has always been for us!
      I would just like to see them pay their exact taxes and if they want to show the world how lovely they are to make their charity donations etc etc from their own back pocket not that of the Tax Man and our Tax System!

      1. I agree, we need a far simpler and fairer tax system, in fact I have a theory which goes along the lines of ‘If it’s complicated, it’s almost certainly a cover for something, and usually that is the poor being ripped off by the rich’.

        For sure there are things which are naturally complicated, but there is no creature that can complicate even the simplest ideas like Mankind does, and too many times that is to hide other less palatable things behind.

        I think there is a great deal that can be simplified, or ‘boiled’ down to a simpler part or concept, and I think that would benefit us greatly.

        1. Yup! Mankind! What a despicable Ape we are! All a human needs to survive is Sleep, Food, Water, Shelter against the Elements, look at what we have done and become! All because one arsehole decided to walk through the tall grass! Now the damned creature believes it is a godly thing and not just another moving self-preserved protein snack! :):):)
          Schools need to teach children just how insignificant our Species, the Planet, the entire teeny Galaxy is, in relation to the Entire Known Universe! Oh, and how to think, People are too eager to bash self important thinking into their children’s heads but how to think and avoid thinking biases nope nothing! THAT is dangerous!
          There is simply no unity anymore, everyone is better than everyone else look at the Dangerous Mess the Internet has become, another thing almost fully under control of the establishment!
          We need a Simplified Open Source Government, Open Source Economy, Open Source Internet! Bravo! :):):)
          Let the Red Flags Fly!

    4. I agree increasing prevalence of super-wealthy people is no marker for general economic success. On the contrary, their existence is inimical to market-capitalism. Concentrations of great wealth represent capital sequestered and thus not available for entrepreneurial capitalism. Additionally, they are occulted opportunity for enhancing society’s infrastructure both physical and for promoting health and well-being.

      It is insufficiently recognised wealth creation and aggregation depend wholly on consent of the general population regarding legal frameworks for operating, recognition and enforcement of property rights, and provision of structural infrastructure (e.g. roads, rail, electricity, water supply, and the Internet) necessary for production/distribution of goods and for commerce in general.

      Assumptions regarding property rights and a host of associated entitlements derive from historical circumstance rather than from any set of principles issued on tablets of stone to nomadic tribesmen. ‘Historical circumstance’ encompasses arbitrary dispositions of land, wealth, and power, arising from blood letting battles among self-proclaimed leaders. The legacy from that is not all bad; major cultural advances in music, literature, visual arts, mathematics, philosophy, sciences, and technology could not have arisen in absence of patronage associated with concentrations of wealth in well disposed hands.

      However, from the nineteenth century onwards, innovation encouraged by market-capitalism and industrialisation has radically altered expectations, living standards, and opportunities for folk in general. The communications revolution brought about at inception of the the digital era has provided opportunities and challenges that few politicians grasp. Now is excellent time to question lingering impediments to everyone enjoying bounty arising from modern technologies and being able to grasp opportunities for self-fulfilment,

      ‘Inequality’, in recent socialist thought, seems elevated to status of cardinal sin. So doing obfuscates underlying problems and paths to solutions. ‘Inequality’ in almost every measurable characteristic of animals, people, and things is the norm. It ought not draw comment based merely on its existence. What may matter, as for example in apportionment of wealth, is the nature and consequences of disparity from the ‘average’ near the top and/or bottom of the range of the distribution.

      So-called ‘health inequalities’ exemplify loose thinking arising from demonising distribution around an average. That’s a story for another time.

      With wealth and income distributions, the mere fact of ‘inequality’ need not suggest societal disarray. Indeed, market-capitalism as part of a mixed economy could not thrive unless pockets of relative wealth for use as capital exist. These can derive from individual choices about how to use disposable income; also, people can combine to amass a capital sum with greater clout than anyone alone. What’s obnoxious is dynastic wealth with the undue opportunity, influence, and entitlement accruing from it. By the phenomenon of ‘regression toward the mean’, offspring from successful entrepreneurs generally lack the flair of the parent.

      Great concentration of wealth, this in context of neo-liberal economics more so than in what came before, is mirrored by other ills which are not receiving attention they ought by Labour.

      Conglomeration and multi-national company reach have contributed to the current moribund state of market-capitalism. Also, aggregation removes choice from ‘consumers’ (I hate that word); for example, among processed foodstuffs there are seemingly competing brands which in fact have common ownership. Then there is financialisation (e.g. opaque derivatives) and de-regulated practices (e.g. share buyback in the USA) to curb. These together with almost unchecked corruption (e.g. Libor rigging) released by neo-liberalism are causes of rapid growth in huge concentrations of wealth in the hands of individuals and corporations.

      Concentrations of wealth, including pre-neoliberalism dynastic wealth (e.g. ‘Duke’ of Westminster), require dissipation. However, most urgent is to dismantle neo-liberalism and return to a mixed economy.

      1. As usual an excellent post, artfully written, and really appreciated.

        I would however challenge some of what you wrote, because I do think the opposite to that which you have claimed in one area, and that is in the area of Mankind’s wars/conflicts against each other.

        Why do you and so many people accept that war and the patronage that comes with it, bring us advances which no other method can?

        For example, many think that War is evil, but forgive it because it has apparently brought us advantages which could not have been obtained otherwise, yet this is simply not true, and belittles what talents the human spirit actually has going for it.

        I would write that in spite of War (and other such nastiness) we have advanced in Art, The Sciences, and Technology, and that we could have advanced without wars because we are an easily bored species, and have instead been held back because of conflict, even to this very day.

        This situation arises from the fact that we are extremely successful hunter-gatherers, and that as a species we have been so good at providing for ourselves and each other, that it became too easy. This in turn has given us far more ‘play-time’ so to speak, than any other species, or even our ancestors, and it is this, not War, that has helped to drum up patronage, and increase our appetites for things other than just surviving.

        To say that War has given us advantages is not untrue, but it is misleading in that it is an excuse, or observation, that has been widely stretched to cover things it is not actually responsible for.

        It is very telling that War destroys people, animals, plants, and The Planet, and because of War, the World is far more polluted and damaged, both physically, but just as important is the psychological damage this has done to our species, and other species. We frequently count the cost to ourselves, and make excuses to ourselves to justify our conflicts, but in all honesty, the real driver of progress is our genetically predisposed aversion to boredom.

        I’ll go further, and say that War is a bad side-effect of our boredom, and most certainly limits our creative output as a species, not the opposite.

        War and conflict bring nothing but a continual need to progress in arms development, that is the true legacy, and development goes on regardless of peace or war. All the Arts, Technology, and Sciences are actually curtailed during warfare for the benefit of creating weapons, and weapon delivery systems.

        Give me an example of good things coming out of conflict, and I am sure I can show you why you are misled, and why those things could indeed be developed and come into existence by other non-conflict means. For example, If Atomic Power Stations didn’t exist, someone would eventually make them, but it is patently true that they were always potentially possible (well after a few minutes after the The Big Bang anyway).

        Similarly, they cannot be truly unmade, and even were they to be wiped out (including all documentation and knowledge of such), they will always still be possible, because the Universe might hide the reality, but the reality is that The Universe does not prohibit their creation.

        People get pushed into developing solutions to various problems potentially quicker in a conflict, out of necessity, but only for what allows the Country to survive and prevail. Art, Technology, and Science do not flourish under such conditions, only after, when there is peace, and then only once patronage increases its input, does the progressiveness come to the fore.

        Consider radar, Spitfires, rockets, and other such military advancements. If you know your history, then you will know that many of these things nearly didn’t make it into existence, and that was because contrary to the claims that conflict helps us be more creative, conflict actually curtails such endeavours, and we were lucky that these things were created in spite of those that didn’t want them to be.

        The things that War and conflict have been credited for creating, are much better served in the absence of war and conflict, where fear of boredom is a supreme driver of progress. So I think it is wrong to say that none of these things could have occurred without these conflicts, even to say that these conflicts have not been all bad, and that some good has come out of them, is just making bad excuses for something that should be abhorrent to everyone.

        It is too easy in our World to think that Warfare brought us rockets, medicines and technological advances which we could not have done otherwise, that man would never have landed on The Moon, and so many other things we have done apparently because of the benefits of Warfare.

        Consider this; more money (by an astonishingly huge margin) goes into maintaining the infrastructure of death, than goes into the tools. medicines, and methods of Life, and arguably this has driven our World much closer to destruction now, than in the past. Arguably, because of that, we are not as advanced or progressive as we think we are, and perhaps have not made any progress, but are in worse ‘health’ now, than our most ancient ancestors, in spite of all the technological advancements we have made.

        I guarantee that if we were to flip the reality so that the military budgets of the World were instead spent on Education, Hospitals, Medicines, Space Exploration, travel and societal infrastructure, we would see far greater results than we have ever experienced with war/conflict driven ‘progress’.

        We have this idea that these conflicts aren’t all bad, because we think we need to accept that warfare is necessary, despite our knowledge that killing other human beings is the worst thing we can do to each other, the Planet, and ourselves. It is exactly because we have such a violent, blood-thirsty history that we confuse gains made after conflict with being war-created opportunities, when in fact they are truly restrictive war driven gains, which would pale in comparison if we historically were a less aggressive species.

        Yes, it looks like conflict and war have driven great improvements in Human Society, but they have not really, it’s just a fact that we know little else, and that as a species we always try and make excuses for the things we know are wrong but feel powerless to change, in the hopes of assuaging our consciences. We also do it when we feel a need to belong, and so when faced with mass difference of opinion, are very prone to giving in to ideas that are wrong, due to peer pressure.

        I appreciate your posts, they are far better worded and constructed than my skills currently allow, however I do think you are wrong on that one point.

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